Tag Archives: gtlaw

Contractual Flexibility for Small Businesses

Small businesses oftentimes rely on co-working spaces, which are facing two issues during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Some co-working spaces are staying open in the event that any of their users provide essential services – does this warrant charging continued fees to all users? Furthermore, because shared spaces may challenge company-wide safety guidelines, … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Releases New Information on the TALF

On May 12, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the Federal Reserve) announced additional information and FAQs on its Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF). The goal of the TALF is to help consumers and businesses access affordable credit during and in the aftermath of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by lending to holders … Continue Reading

SBA Extends PPP Repayment Date for Safe Harbor to May 18

This evening the SBA issued new FAQ 47 extending the repayment date for the safe harbor to May 18, 2020. View the full FAQs here. For more information and updates on the developing COVID-19 situation, visit GT’s Health Emergency Preparedness Task Force: Coronavirus Disease 2019 or GT’s Economic Stimulus Team.… Continue Reading

SBA Issues FAQ Guidance on PPP Good Faith Necessity Certification

This morning the SBA issued an important new FAQ 46 on how it intends to review the good faith necessity certification required for PPP loans. The safe harbor for return of PPP loans expires tomorrow, May 14, and companies should carefully consider the newest guidance as they weigh whether to return loans. View the full … Continue Reading

Interagency Guidance for Financial Institutions on Coronavirus Disease-Related Loan Modifications

On Sunday night, March 22, 2020, the federal banking agencies (OCC, FDIC, NCUA, Federal Reserve), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the State Conference of Bank Supervisors issued an Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting for Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus. The Guidance does two key things: 1. Short-term loan … Continue Reading

All Systems Go? LIBOR Transition Efforts During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, market volatility, workplace disruptions and a shuttering of everyday life are becoming increasingly commonplace. While the 2021 LIBOR phase-out may not seem top of mind during the current crisis, speculation is mounting about whether the pandemic will delay or otherwise alter the phasing out of the “world’s most … Continue Reading

SEC Issues MD&A Disclosure Guidance and Proposes Amendments to Modernize and Enhance MD&A Financial Disclosures

On Jan. 30, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued (i) guidance regarding the disclosure of key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics in Management’s Discussion and Analysis, or MD&A (the “Guidance”), which is effective immediately and applies to the upcoming annual reports on Form 10-K and 20-F as well as related earnings releases; and (ii) a proposal to … Continue Reading

FINRA’s 2020 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter

On Jan. 9, 2020, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released its 2020 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter, in which it identifies its areas of examination focus for 2020. The cover note also highlights key changes in FINRA’s risk monitoring and examination program. These changes include the consolidation of FINRA’s three examination programs into a … Continue Reading

SEC Proposes Conditional Exemption for Certain Activities of Registered Municipal Advisors

Section 15 (a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) generally prohibits a broker or dealer from effecting “any transactions in, or to induce or attempt to induce the purchase or sale of, any security” unless such broker or dealer is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, as is often … Continue Reading

U.S. House Passes Bill That Would Require Disclosure of Beneficial Owners of U.S. Corporations and Limited Liability Companies

On Oct. 22, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives, in a 249 to 173 vote, passed H.R. 2513, known as the “Corporate Transparency Act of 2019.”  The Corporate Transparency Act, if enacted into law, would require each person who creates a corporation or limited liability company in the United States to report, on an ongoing basis, … Continue Reading

CFTC, FinCEN and SEC Issue Joint Statement Reminding Persons in Digital Assets Space of Obligations Under Bank Secrecy Act

On Oct. 11, 2019, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), published a Joint Statement on Activities Involving Digital Assets. The purpose of the Joint Statement was “to remind persons engaged in activities involving digital assets of their anti-money laundering and … Continue Reading

Bermuda Launches Two Key Fintech Initiatives, Becomes First Nation to Accept Stable Coins for Government Payments

On Oct. 16, 2019, Bermuda Premier the Hon. E. David Burt JP, MP announced that Bermuda has committed to accept, for payment of government taxes, fees, and services, 1:1 U.S.-dollar-backed digital currencies of entities licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) under the 2018 Digital Asset Business Act (DABA), becoming the first nation to do … Continue Reading

IRS Issues New Cryptocurrency Guidance

On Oct. 9, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released revenue ruling (Rev. Rul. 2019-24) and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document, which provide additional guidance on the tax treatment and reporting obligations for transactions involving virtual currency (also known as cryptocurrency). This guidance supplements the original guidance that was issued in 2014 in the … Continue Reading

SEC Passes Long-Awaited New Rule 6c-11 to Modernize Regulation of ETFs

On Sept. 26, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it had adopted a new Rule 6c-11 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Investment Company Act” or the “Act”). Rule 6c-11 will permit exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that satisfy certain conditions to operate without the expense and delay of obtaining an exemptive order. The new … Continue Reading

Qualifying Assets Under Investment Company Act Section 3(c)(5)(C) Mortgage Exemption

On Aug. 15, 2019, the staff of the Division of Investment Management at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Staff”) issued a significant no-action letter. The letter clarifies the treatment of certain assets held by an entity seeking to rely upon Section 3(c)(5)(C) to be exempt from registration as an investment company under the Investment … Continue Reading

Recent Rocky Mountain State Law Blockchain Developments

Rocky Mountain States Make Headway in Blockchain-Related Legislation With Wyoming having become the first state to define “utility tokens” as a new asset class (see article in Blockchain & Cryptocurrency’s Winter 2019 Issue), Montana and Colorado are following close behind with their own cryptocurrency legislation. Both states have blockchain-related bills going into effect in July and August … Continue Reading

Joint Statement Emphasizes Risk-Focused Approach to Examinations of Banks’ BSA/AML Compliance Programs

On July 22, 2019, the federal bank regulatory agencies and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (collectively, the “Agencies”), issued a Joint Statement on Risk-Focused Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Supervision. The Joint Statement emphasizes their risk-focused approach to examinations of banks’ BSA/AML compliance programs and is the third statement from … Continue Reading

SEC/FINRA Joint Statement on Broker-Dealer Custody of Digital Assets

The SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets and the Office of the General Counsel of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) published on July 8, 2019, a joint staff statement (Custody Release) on broker-dealer custody of digital assets. The statement has been eagerly awaited by market participants, including broker-dealers, given significant uncertainty in the application of … Continue Reading

Amendments to ‘Volcker Rule’ to Exclude Certain ‘Small’ Banks From Key Prohibitions

In connection with the U.S. financial crisis 10 years ago, legislation was adopted to enhance the safety and soundness of the commercial banking system in the United States. Amendments to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 required five federal financial agencies to adopt joint regulations to (i) limit the authority of commercial banking institutions to … Continue Reading

SEC Clears First Two Regulated Token Offerings

In July 2019, the SEC qualified the first token offerings under Regulation A+, approving blockchain startup Blockstack’s bitcoin-like digital tokens on July 10, and live video streaming platform YouNow’s offering of its “Props” tokens on July 11. These decisions will likely serve as new fundraising templates for many blockchain businesses. Blockstack Blockstack describes its services … Continue Reading

New Regulations in Japan on Security Token Offerings

A bill to amend the Act on Settlement of Funds and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (FIEA) has passed both the upper and lower houses of Japan’s National Diet and was enacted on May 31, 2019. The amendments enhance the regulations on ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) by applying the securities regulations under the FIEA … Continue Reading

FINRA Wants to Hear From Firms BEFORE They Go Crypto

In 2018 the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) undertook efforts to have member firms contact FINRA before engaging in activities involving digital assets by issuing Regulatory Notice 18-20. That approach led to many discussions between FINRA staff and member firms, and FINRA found that process useful to help it become aware of developing practices and … Continue Reading

Cryptocurrencies and Unclaimed Property: Potential Implications of State Escheat Laws for the Blockchain Technology Industry

The use of blockchain technology and the issuance of cryptocurrencies have grown considerably in recent years, inviting heightened scrutiny and regulation. While federal securities, tax, and other financial services regulatory agencies, such as the SEC, the IRS, state securities commissioners and others, have begun applying their rules and regulations to cryptocurrency businesses, the cryptocurrency industry … Continue Reading

Florida Creates Blockchain Task Force to Study Benefits of Blockchain Technology

On May 23, 2019, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 1024 (Florida Blockchain Bill) into law to establish the Florida Blockchain Task Force (Blockchain Task Force) within the Florida Department of Financial Services. The Blockchain Task Force will study if and how Florida’s state, county, and municipal governments can benefit from a transition to blockchain-based … Continue Reading
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